Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Challenge VII Begins: 'Fred, An Enlightened Despot, and His Mutts'


As per tradition, I'll kick-off of the Painting Challenge with the first submission

Here, I give you a somewhat roundabout entry on this year's theme on companionship.

Frederick der Grosse. Der Alte Fritz. Frederick the Great. This same man who won the Seven Years War, unified Prussia, rubbed shoulders with Voltaire and introduced potatoes to Germany was also a great lover of dogs - in particular his Italian Greyhounds. The Prussian Kaiser and his dogs were inseparable, with at least one being recorded accompanying him on campaign (Biche, who was with him during the War of the Austrian Succession). Frederick owned many dogs during his lifetime, most of these roamed free in his palace of Sanssouci, forever at his feet, always indulged.


Frederick's wish upon his death was to be buried alongside his dogs at Sanssouci, but thinking this beneath the dignity of the old warrior, his nephew and successor Frederick Wilhelm II, had him buried with his father (whom, ironically, he detested) in the Potsdam Garrison Church. 

Nonetheless, 205 years later, after Germany was once again re-united, Frederick the Great was finally re-interred according to his wishes, in a small ceremony after nightfall, placed next to his beloved greyhounds at Sanssouci.

Frederick the Great's grave (with the traditional potato offerings) next to his hounds.
On to the figures. Here we see Frederick II playing a minuet on his flute with his faithful Italian Greyhounds at his feet.  



This is a nice 28mm vignette offered by Eureka Miniatures, which I think is based on the painting by Adolf von Menzel. 




Well there you have it. I think I'll give myself 10 points for this entry. 5 for Fred and another 5 for his dogs and music stand. The first entry out of the gate and the first points on the roster!  

I'll be relishing the next few hours as it's the only time where I'll have the lead... 

Okay, it's off to bed for me. I'll be updating with fresh entries in about 12 hours. 

72 comments:

  1. Very smartly painted - and a very nice figure. Excellent treatment of an illustrious subject!

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    1. Thanks Ev! Eureka makes some very characterful figures which are a joy to paint.

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    1. Thank you Mr. D. Off the mark and dashing wildly!

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  3. Great work. We appear to have begun

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  4. A splendid figure very well painted.

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  5. A cracking start to this year's Challenge mate!

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    1. Thanks, it's good to be out of the paddock and galloping along.

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  6. Love it and how fitting as my first entry will be Prussian SYW :-)

    Thanks for running the challenge again Curt

    Ian

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    1. You're very welcome Ian. I look forward to your SYW entry!

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  7. An excellent opening salvo Curt :)

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    1. Thanks Ms. P! I thought it would be a hangfire but it came off alright.

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  8. A fitting start and lovely paint job on such an unusual subject!

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  9. Very nice little vignette Curt!

    Christopher

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    1. It is a nice little minuet, to be sure. Fun to work on as well.

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  10. Nice opening shot,Curt! The red carpet looks pretty sweet. Is he playing " Times Are A-Changing" ? ;)

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    1. Good Lord, no! I'd rather think he's be playing 'I'm Your Man.' ;)

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  11. great work, the great Friedrich, the great Curt :)

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    1. Oh, I forgot to include that spelling. Good one!

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  12. I recently picked up this exact figure I hope I can do as well as you did when I get around to painting him.

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    1. I'm sure you'll do a cracking job on him (and far less pressed than mine!).

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    2. I look forward to seeing what you think of him.

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  13. Great figs Curt! I love the look of Eurekas stuff but baulk over shipping costs. An old gaming pal bred Italian Greyhounds and I have played the role of Freddy with similar look mutts around my feet.
    Cheers,
    Peter

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    1. Thanks Pete. Yeah, you have to get enough to warrant the shipping, but they make lovely castings.

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  14. What a way to start the race! You're putting the painting quality bar really high

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    1. Thanks Benito, I'm glad you liked it.

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  15. You just have to be the first, glory hound! (see what I did there)

    Fun little vignette!

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    1. Haha! You're soooo droll. :)

      Thanks Iannick.

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  16. Great work dude - very nice.

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  17. great start Curt looking forward to this winter like I have not for sooo long

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    1. As a Canadian, the phrase 'looking forward to this winter' is usually only uttered by 'those hockey people'. Nonetheless, in this case I understand your sentiment. :)

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  18. A great start to the Challenge!!

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  19. Very nice entry, Curt, really fine and perfect for the beginning of The Challenge.

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    1. I've had this set for awhile now and was wondering what I would use it for - I think this was a worthy occasion. :)

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  20. That's an excellent little vignette to start off this years challenge Curt! You must have burnt quite some midnight oil to get it done in such short a time and still deliver top of the shelf quality.

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    1. Well, I'm not sure about the quality, but I had the write-up done for quite awhile, the figures were already based and primed, and I knew exactly the colour pallet, so it really wasn't that hard to crack off. It's amazing what a few ounces of espresso will do! :)

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  21. Excellent work, Curt! A very fine start to what should be a most excellent Challenge!

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    1. Thanks Sid, I think it's going to be another great edition.

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  22. a very fitting start of the Challenge indeed! "All for the people, but nothing by the people!"

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  23. What a wonderful way to kickstart the challenge, bravo Sir.

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    1. Thank you Michael. It's nice to see it off and running again.

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  24. That carpet looks like its got a nice thick pile. I like the quiet dignity of this figure--a refined and gentile start before the points bombs start falling in earnest. :)

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    1. Thanks David. Yes, I was quite liberal with the red on this one. :)

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    1. I can only hope Frederich would say the same. :)

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  26. Amazing start to the challenge Curt!

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    1. Thanks Samuli, it's always a delight to open the ball.

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  27. Great start to the challenge Curt.

    Cheers, Ross

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  28. An especially nice start to the AHPC Curt. I especially appreciate the background fluff you've added to the vignette. Excellent stuff.

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  29. Thank you Simon. As is often the case with me, it is the background and not the figure(s) that give me impetus to paint. Such a butterfly... ;)

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  30. This starts the Challenge off on a great note! Companionship, entertainment, interesting history and skillful painting.

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  31. A deuced quick start! Nice one.

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    1. I always feel tremendous pressure to be first out of the gates - it wouldn't be proper otherwise!

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